There’s more to the Brant Festival than walking on the beach and learning about nature.
That fact will become abundantly clear on Friday, March 22 as the festival officially kicks off with a bash at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre, starting at 7 p.m.
The evening will feature live music by Based Five, light refreshments — including the popular Brantinis — appetizers by Stewart’s on Harrison, a live auction to raise money for the festival, and a special appearance by Miss Lucie the Brant Goosie.
This event was sold out last year, so get your tickets early. The cost is $25 per person and available through the Parksville Chamber of Commerce. Details can be found at: http://brantfestival.bc.ca/events/community-celebration-and-reception.
For those who don’t mind a little beach adventure, but want to have it in comfort, there’s also the signature Brant in the Bay event on Saturday, March 23.
The fun takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Parksville’s Community Park that will feature local food carts serving up their signature treats while participants join the Arrowsmith Naturalists on the waterfront at the Parksville Community Park to view Brant geese and other birds through spotting scopes.
• It’s one of the wonders of nature that blesses the beaches of the central Island every spring, but the annual herring spawn remains a mystery of nature to many.
That doesn’t have to be the case, however. As part of the annual Brant Festival, residents and visitors alike can get the inside scoop on a herring spawn boat tour, sponsored by the VIU Deep Bay Marine Field Station.
The event kicks off on Saturday, March 16 at the field station, with two tours heading out to the spawning grounds, one at 9 a.m.-11 11:30 a.m. and a second from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The cost to participate is $100 per person and space is limited. Register by e-mailing email@example.com or calling 1-866-288-7878 ext. 226.
That’s not the only Brant Festival action at the field station. Bird fans will also be able to join staff of VIU Deep Bay Marine Field Station as bird expert Dr. Rob Butler presents a two- hour marine birding tour on the Research Vessel Chetlo.
During the period around the annual herring spawn in Baynes Sound, this waterway plays host to large numbers of local and migrating seabirds.
The Chelto is a spacious and stable vessel to observe this annual event from. Visitors should note however that this is an open working vessel and passengers should dress accordingly. Participation will be limited to 12 guests.
Those who want a less active birding experience can take in the All About Birds event on Saturday, March 16: a presentation by Rob Butler at the VIU Deep Bay Marine Field Station. The talk takes flight at 7 p.m. and costs $10 per person at the door.
— NEWS Staff